German born Dirk Schönberger created ripples across the fashion industry during his eight years as Adidas' creative director by green-lighting collaborations with numerous designers. His development of the Adidas Original brand and his canny re-release of the classic Stan Smith, a much publicised favourite of Phoebe Philo and Marc Jacobs , all contributed to upping the fashion cred of the German sportswear giant.
In October 2018, German luxury marque MCM appointed Schönberger to be its new global creative director in a surprise move with immediate effect. Based in Berlin, Schönberger will aim to capture the city’s vibe and “translate the brand’s vision, DNA and spirit to further define its signature offering.” His first collection for MCM debuts in Spring/Summer 2020.
At Adidas, Schönberger oversaw collaborations with Rick Owens and Opening Ceremony along with style-associated celebrities, such as singer Rita Ora. In a sneaker industry coup, Schönberger also signed up a Nike-released Kayne West for the Yeezy collaboration spanning footwear and apparel which has gone on to sell out multiple seasons. Musician Pharrell Williams is also signed to the brand, collaborating on a collection produced by Adidas. Schönberger’s signings ensured that Adidas stood next to its sportswear rival Nike in the fashion-sneaker market place.
Schönberger told The Fader “When I joined Adidas, my initial thought was, Let’s focus on the brand Adidas, not collaborations. I’d known Raf [Simons] for a long time, and we’d had conversations about Adidas and about how much he liked the Stan Smith [sneaker]. Then I thought, well, maybe it is interesting to invite people into the brand again as collaborators and start working on their vision. I’m thinking about our collaborators as a virus injected into our company that mutates the company into something else.”
Prior to his work his appointment to Adidas in 2010 Schönberger was the creative director of the Joop! brand. In addition the creative director designed an eponymous label for 10 years.